The Daily Weekly: A Campus Post-Strike

Tuesday, September 29, 2020 - 11:39pm

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The last time we spoke to you the Graduate Employee Organization and University Residence Staff were on strike, the Faculty Senate was preparing for a no confidence vote on President Mark Schlissel, and the Michigan Community was just learning about the conditions of quarantine housing via TikTok. Tensions at U-M were high and nobody seemed to know what would happen next. A lot has happened since then. 

After nine days of striking, the GEO agreed to a deal with the University administration to end the strike on September 16th. The terms of the agreement include creating a panel to examine graduate student employee remote work requests, scheduling meetings between the GEO and the Board of Regents twice a term to discuss public safety and policing, additional funding and expanded coverage from the University for daycare, and the ability for GSIs to cancel class if a student refuses to wear a mask. Members of the GEO expressed unhappiness with the agreement, but they felt that the pressure of pending legal action left them no choice. University ResStaff agreed to end their strike on September 22nd after the University offered priority in the weekly surveillance COVID testing program, more personal protective equipment, and $200 in Blue Bucks for each ResStaff member. 

On September 16th, the Faculty Senate convened more than 2,000 faculty members from across the University to vote on a series of motions including a vote of no-confidence in University President Mark Schlissel. After several time extensions the final tally was 957 in favor of the motion, 953 against the motion, with 198 abstentions. While there were more votes in favor of the motion than against, the motion was initially ruled to have failed because abstentions were counted against the motion. However, two days later, on September 18th, Faculty Senate Leadership confirmed that the vote of no-confidence in President Schlissel had passed. Prior to the meeting University general counsel announced that because the meeting was conducted virtually all motions would be unofficial. Making the vote of no-confidence symbolic. 

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Meanwhile, testimonies from students in quarantine housing that detailed crude conditions were going viral online. Students who test positive for COVID are relocated to North Campus to quarantine and they have complained about the lack of time to pack supplies for quarantine and that the supplies that were provided upon arrival were insufficient. Students in quarantine housing found unsanitary conditions including hair, cobwebs, and bars of soap that look used. Quarantine housing initially did not provide microwaves and students were alarmed by the low quality of meals being provided. 

Oh, and did we mention football is back?

On this episode of The Daily Weekly, we talk to community members who were involved in each of the major events from the past week. We also talk to a member of the recently canceled Michigan Ambassadors program about their experience.

This episode was produced by Audio Engineer Gibson Gillett-Behrens, Executive Producer Sonya Vogel, and Content Producers Gerald Sill, Doug McClure, and Rachel Fagan. All the amazing music in this episode was made by Gibson Gillett-Behrens.